Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Am I Doing Enough with My Life?

This week I love my life and feel happy and amazing! :D
Last week - I was struggling. The theme to my mental questioning seemed to be a heavy and doubtful…

Am I Doing Enough with My Life?

I wonder if everyone speculates now and then…

Feeling like we aren’t accomplishing anything... Feeling like there is no way we could possibly be doing enough – or anything important enough with our lives… Like we are living without purpose… Needing to know WHAT we are “supposed” to be doing with our lives!

When I went through this there was an overwhelming list in my mind of things I hadn’t yet accomplishedThe “to-do” list was long, and it was daunting… I didn’t even know where to begin to sort it all out.

I remember being frustrated; thinking that the little everyday things of life – cooking, cleaning, doing the dishes etc. – were keeping me fromwhat ever it was - that I needed to be doing…

I looked around the house and all I saw was the mess. I looked at my kids and saw the things I still needed to teach them. I looked at myself and saw the goals I still hadn’t achieved.

Then two friends called. I know the lord sent them both. These angel friends helped me to redirect my thoughts so I could see my life more clearly.

First I was reminded that I am loved; the Lord loved me enough to be aware of my struggles and send friends to cheer me up.

Second, my thoughts were re-framed, and I was reminded of who I am and of what my purpose in life truly is.

As I rambled on about how I thought I was falling short, I was interrupted with the following question …

“OK Corine. Wait… You keep telling me what you still need to do, but I KNOW you’ve done a lot right already. What have you done right?”

Upon contemplating the answer to that question it hit me – I was so FUTURE-driven and FUTURE MINDED/ORIENTED, that I wasn’t thinking AT ALL about what I HAD accomplished, or about what I was CURRENTLY accomplishING – I thought ONLY about what I still needed to accomplish!

As I paused to answer, a few thoughts of a few important things I am doing right raced through my mind; suddenly I didn't feel like a complete failure, and I realized that I was OK. What was a moment ago SO BIG, was suddenly nothing…

When I got off the phone with the second friend I came out of my bedroom and looked around the house. As if by magic, the house that seemed so atrociously messy before - wasn’t so bad after all.

Suddenly, the things I still needed to teach my sons seemed small compared to what they had learned.

Suddenly all that still needed to be done looked so small – now that I had in my mind all that had already been accomplished… J

In the course of a couple phone calls, I went from feeling a life of messes and too much to do…to acknowledging and feeling a life of accomplishment and cleanliness! Nothing had changed EXTERNALLY in the course of that time - Just my beliefs – and thus my feelings…

And it wasn’t that I was sugar coating my life and pretending it was cleaner and more productive than it was to make myself feel better. It was simply and truly that I stepped back and looked at the whole of my life – the failures and the successes... What I HAVE ALREADY accomplished, as well as what I have YET to accomplish. It was because I stopped listening to the discouraging voice of half truths and lies...

In effort to continue escaping the shadow of discouragement that Satan tried to cast over my mind, I asked myself a few questions and answered them honestly

If a seed develops and grows to produce whatever it is created from, then I likened myself to a seed and asked...

1) What was I created from?

First of all, I was created from loving parents in heaven. I am a child of God with a divine nature and destiny…When I think about it, all the purpose I ever need is found in knowing who I am and why I came here to earth. I came here to gain a body, and to develop myself and become a person of character and integrity. I also came here to prove to myself that I would always strive to do what is right… to obey the lord and serve Him even when I can not see Him and even when it is most challenging to do so. I came to earth to make and keep sacred promises with Him and by so doing become the kind of wonderful selfless, giving, charitable, patient, kind, HAPPY PERSON - He created me to be; THIS IS MY PURPOSE - I am not perfect; but in this crazy busy world - I love myself for trying…J

- Why make such an effort to obey God and be a good person? Because this is the path to eternal happiness, and God created me so that I can be happy...

In realizing this, it occurred to me that I don’t have to be doing anything that the world considers “note worthy” to be fulfilling my purpose and living a productive life. I can do this VITAL mission – IN MY OWN HOME – simply by HOW I live my life…

2) What actions AM I taking to nourish myself and to create growth in my life (this is important – we are not asking what we are NOT doing, but what we ARE doing)?

Second, I realized that I can list a whole lot of very small, yet consistent actions that I AM diligently nurturing, to create the kind of person that I desire to become and which helps me to continually create a good life. I have found that to nourish myself and create growth I must do two things. 1) Learn God’s word. This part feels nourishing. It can involve quiet “me” time – praying, studying the scriptures, going to church, or going to spiritual conferences etc. And 2) Keep His Commandments and LIVE what I learn. This part may not always feel like it is nurturing, for it requires that I selflessly nurture others. It requires that I get out of my comfort zone, and stretch myself with love and service to others. It requires that I do things that require self sacrifice and self discipline… like paying tithing and gathering my family together to pray with and teach them from the scriptures daily. I may not be perfectly consistent with any of it, but the cumulative effect is still great! Living life the way I believe my Father in Heaven desires for me to live it is a continual work in progress that I love! :D

*This next idea is important…In answering this question to myself I realized, again, that all the little every-day things (like laundry, dishes, and shuffling kids around) are the experiences which give me the greatest opportunity OF BECOMING (learning and growing) the kind of selfless, giving, charitable, patient, kind, person I'm striving to become. These every-day moments put me in the situations I need to be in to learn and grow and develop Christ-like qualities. Every day work doesn’t get in the way of our greatest goals – they are the means to accomplishing our greatest goals!!! How great it is to be reminded that as long as we are doing God’s will rather than our own - it isn’t WHAT we do but HOW we do it (living in the present with integrity) – that truly matters!

3) What am I doing right?

Third, what have I done right? No matter who you are – there are things you are doing wrong. None of us are perfect. We need to be careful not to focus on our shortcomings and get discouraged. We need to remember that no matter how much we mess up, we still do a lot right. Just as I desired to be a runner two years ago and began running – thus I became a runner – there are many small things in my life that I have done right – consistently enough to help me to become something… J

BECOMING IS A PROCESS, it takes diligence and patience before we come to see the fruits of our labors. And all the big accomplishments in life are simply the accumulation of little things…

“By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”

It does not matter how long it takes to get to where I’m going or how I compare to others. It only matters that I decide what God and I desire for my life, and then believe that I can accomplish it – enough to diligently nourish that desire by doing what it takes to fulfill that desire. J

There is a life behind us and a life before us. But even more than that, just as there is life in each tiny seed, there is a life WITHIN US.

And that spark within us can only come out when we let go of both pride and time and decide what to believe, based on how much truth we are willing to step back and look at.

We are not our past; we are not just tiny seeds of present potential; we - and our lives, -are everything that we have the potential of growing/becoming.

You know what sounds nice to me? Moving forward with no worry about where we are compared to anyone else or about how long it will take to get to where we want to go – Just experiencing pure and simple GRATITUDE for where we have been; all we have learned and enjoyed; where we are; all we have accomplished and overcome; all we are becoming and enjoying; and all we have yet to overcome, become, and enjoy.

In a way then, when we cultivate with faith - our tiny little seeds of daily activities - our life is a gift – for we are able to joyfully acknowledge everything we ever were, everything we are and everything we will one day become, all at onceas if there were no time

So… this is my message of HOPE for today. That we can find purpose as we live very simply – by enduring well – and as we keep daily, the covenants and promises we make with the lord and our family. These are simple things, but that is all that is needed to fulfill our purpose that we came to Earth to fulfill. The lord will lead us along to accomplish our life missions as we live this simple purpose.

I believe these things with all my heart. And I bear my testimony of these things the name of Jesus Christ, Amen…

Corine Moore :D

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